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FBI: Government Workers Faked Excessive Exercise to Earn Gift Cards

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire

An initiative by Blue Cross and Blue Shield to promote good health seemed to work too well when some municipal employees of Kansas City were reporting excessive, grueling exercise sessions to earn gift cards.

It was so unreal, in fact, that the scam caught the FBI’ attention, which resulted in an  investigation, KCTV 5 reports.

One employee claimed to have participated in the Olympics, four triathlons, three duathlons, three marathons and two half-marathons. Others were reporting the same kind of strenuous activity, KCTV 5 reported.

Six Kansas City municipal workers and a Jackson County correctional employee have been indicted by a grand jury.

Muslim U.S. Citizen Claims He’s Being Harassed by Feds, Local Authorities

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A Muslim man from Oklahoma claims he’s being harassed by the FBI after he was twice barred from flying from Qatar to visit his sick mother in the United States, the Associated Press reports.

Now that he’s back home in the U.S., Saadiq Long says local and federal authorities are trying to interview, including during a traffic stop when he and his sister were ordered to exit the car at gunpoint and were handcuffed, the AP wrote.

The 43-year-old man is an Air Force veteran and U.S. citizen.

Editorial: Border Patrol Spoils Its Good Name with Secrecy, Long Delays in Internal Probes

Editorial
Arizona Daily Star

For a law-enforcement agency to be trusted, the public must be able to see how it functions when something goes wrong.

The U.S. Border Patrol doesn’t seem to understand that.

As the Arizona Daily Star’s Tim Steller reported on Sunday, when Border Patrol agents shoot people on the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border, the investigations are slow and secretive. There have been at least six such incidents since January 2010, including the death this fall of a 16-year-old who was on a Nogales, Sonora, sidewalk. A fence and a 36-foot-wide street separated him from the border. Local police reports say two people were on the fence when agents arrived and rocks were thrown at the officers.

When a Tucson police officer or Pima County sheriff’s deputy shoots someone, the agency discloses the incident and the name of the law-enforcer. The investigations are usually quick.

Contrast that with the Border Patrol.

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Ex-FBI Agent Sentenced to Probation for Passing on Information about Undercover Investigation

Steve Neavling
ticklthewire.com

A former FBI agent who passed on confidential information to a friend about an ongoing federal investigation in New Jersey was sentenced Tuesday to four years of probation, the Washington Post reports.

Ivan Stanchev, 43, delivered information about a criminal probe in Newark to a friend who apparently was curious about an undercover operation, the Washington Post reported.

Among the information were four telephone numbers and the names of people linked to the probe, the Post wrote.

The information “was in no way classified and did not involve national security,” Stanchev’s attorney said.

Gun ownership appears to be on a steady rise, but the motive is in dispute.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Over the past decade, the number of federally mandated background checks of prospective gun purchases has nearly doubled, the USA Today reports, citing FBI records.

Nearly 17 million people received background checks already this year, up from 8.5 million in 2002, the USA Today wrote.

If you ask gun-rights advocates what’s causing the spike, they’ll tell you it’s the increase in popularity of hunting, fears that the Obama administration will restrict firearm purchases and more lenient concealed weapon laws.

But gun control advocates say the rise predominately is from existing gun owners who believe there is a plot to take away their weapons, the USA Today reported.

Although President Obama hasn’t signed gun-control legislation, some worry he will during the second term.

“People expect a siege on the Second Amendment (right to bear arms),” National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the USA Today.

Young Cancer Patients Get Smiles, Honors at FBI Office in Nebraska

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

They aren’t your typical FBI agents.

Then again, Sammy Nahorny, 4, Paul Hayes, 9, and Jack Hoffman, 7 aren’t your typical children.

Diagnosed with cancer, the children were distracted from their illnesses at the Omaha FBI office, where they became honorary members of the agency during a mock swearing-in ceremony, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

The kids also met Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead.

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FBI Prepares Furlough Days for Agents if Fiscal Cliff Deal Not Reached

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the White House and congressional Republicans fail to reach a budget plan, the FBI is prepared to reduce the number of agents working daily on cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The plan under consideration would give agents one unpaid furlough day roughly on a bi-weekly basis, the Journal reported.

That includes special agents.

The plan could change, FBI officials said, because the crisis could be averted by political compromise, the Journal wrote.

Police in Georgia Prepare to Enforce Show-Me-Your-Papers Law

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Police in Georgia are prepared to start enforcing the state’s controversial “show-me-your-papers law” after a federal judge lifted an injunction on it, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The law allows police to check the immigration status of suspects. Anyone believed to be in the country illegally can be detained, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Aimed at pushing illegal immigrants out of the state, critics say the law is unconstitutional and would lead to racial profiling, the Journal-Constitution wrote.

Immigration rights groups said they will be on the lookout for abuse.

“Any type of violations of individuals’ rights — including prolonged detention — is something we will be looking for, documenting and will bring back to court,” Karen Tumlin, a managing attorney for the National Immigration Law Center, told the Journal-Constitution.

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